Parenting reviews

Gifts Parents Hate

How often do you watch your child unwrap a present and upon seeing the gift, look over at the buyer and think, “What were you thinking?” As a father to four kids, I have quadrupled those moments. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when adults close to me buy my kids gifts. It’s a bonding moment between the family member/friend and my child. But there are gifts upon receiving, I take as a personal attack.

These are gifts that if you buy my kids, I will hate you.

Glitter: It’s the gift that keeps on terrorizing and the absolute most hated thing that could enter my house. This includes glitter glued on toys and glitter paper. Glitter is as hard to get rid of as bedbugs, cockroaches, and termites combined. Well, that maybe be pushing it, but you understand. Glitter is a never-ending clean-up project. There’s no good reason to bedazzle a picture or art project that much. I would rather my kids get a drum set than an ounce of glitter.

Sand: Who thought sand would be a great idea for a toy? I know the company behind Kinetic Sand puts out great toys every year, but Kinetic Sand might be the most ill-conceived toy of all time. You want to give my kids sand as a gift? Then they’ll only be playing with it at your house. Either that, or it goes into the trash can.






Candy makers: I know a lot of grandparents come across a candy-making toy and think, “Our little darlings love candy and chocolate. We should buy them this so they can make some yummy treats with their parents.” It’s a terrible idea. Not only will the kids be hyped up on sugar, but they’ll have candy or chocolate all over their faces, hands, hair, table, sink, carpet, pillow, and everywhere else they touch.


Microphones: Oh, how sweet that you want to help develop my child’s inner Rockstar. Not a pleasant gift though while I attempt a Zoom meeting. You try to listen to my kid sing into a mic as they jam it into their face, producing a humming sound that rivals a loud Tibetan monk’s throat chant.

Music: Just don’t. I’m not going to play it. I have no desire to hear “I’m a Little Tea Pot,” a million times in an hour.

Games with an opening at the top: This is a trend that must stop. Stop it, game makers! Remember the Game of Life? Now the top is open, which means all the pieces fall out. I can’t store the games properly if they’re open on the top. When someone buys me a game with an opening in the top, what they are saying is, “Here, have fun losing game pieces.”

Well, that was cathartic to get off my chest. I hope gift buyers and toy companies can take this advice and stop pushing unwanted gifts on parents. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some vacuuming to do. For some reason, card companies like to put glitter on holiday cards.


  1. Oh my, I remember when sand building was all the rage years ago, the bags came with different colors, and of course my kids really wanted the sand (I can’t remember exactly what it was called back then). SO, yes, we got it for them. The rule was they could only play with it in a swimming pool I set up in the basement and to be sure they shook off any sand before getting out of the pool. Of course, our house was bigger than your house. Anyway, they enjoyed it for a period of time and I don’t remember any big issues.

    I’d add Silly Putty to the list of things not wanted. It didn’t get on my list until some silly putty got stuck in the carpet 🙁

    Think of glitter as fairy dust 🙂 I’m still vacuuming it off the seat of our car from something I bought at a yard sale. By the way, not all glitter is like that, if applied properly.

    OH, so you really want a drum set? OK!

    1. Also not a fan of Silly Putty.
      I’m surprised a drum set hasn’t appeared yet. I have seen some new ones that are digital and come with headphones.

  2. What an absolutely brilliant blog post! Thank you! I remember getting some “noise” making toys for Christmas gifts when the kids were young. Oh how quickly I hacked into a couple of them and disconnected the wires to “mute” them permanently!

  3. Love this post. It’s tremendously useful because most content points to what to get dad as a gift. We will post this on our Facebook page as well. Thank you! SFD

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